After a one-year hiatus, Santa Barbara athletics once again reign supreme, as the Gauchos won this year’s Big West Commissioner’s Cup.
UCSB’s athletic teams combined to produce five conference champions, and six squads nabbed the second slot in Big West play to help the Gauchos to a conference-best 112.5-point average. Long Beach State finished with a 111.5-point average in the second-closest finish in Commissioner’s Cup history. The 49ers ended Santa Barbara’s streak of five straight wins last season.
The Gauchos earned conference titles in the 2006-07 season in men’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s swimming and diving, women’s cross country and a co-championship in women’s soccer. Long Beach shared the women’s soccer title, and also took home the crown in men’s basketball.
Thanks to a strong Fall, UCSB took an early lead in the race, and was able to hold on despite a strong finish for the 49ers. Long Beach was the conference front-runner in baseball for the early part of the conference season, but UC Riverside was able to overtake the Dirtbags, securing the Gauchos’ sixth Commissioner’s Cup crown in the past seven years.
The athletic success of Santa Barbara was widespread, with 12 of the 16 Big West teams finishing in third place or better. The finishes for men’s and women’s water polo, along with men’s volleyball, do not count toward the Commissioner’s Cup standings because they are endorsed by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation instead of the Big West.